November 16, 2011

Bella Italia

Back from Italy and already longing for it again.

We decided to have a delayed honeymoon - almost 8 months after we actually got married - because we were set on a roadtrip through the Northern part of Italy. September was the chosen month, as it was going to most likely give us the warm weather we were hoping for, but be at the tail-end of the peak tourist season. We made the right decision.

The sun was shining every single day of our trip and, while the cities were still swarming with tourists (Florence in particular), we knew it must've been far worse in July and August. Before going into more details on each individual place, here's a sneak peek of our "luna di miele". Enjoy!

May 5, 2011

Hit pause for a while

I need to hit the pause-button for a while. There is simply too much going on right now in my busy life. You would think that getting married results in spending more time with the new hubby, but quite the contrary has been happening. I barely have time for D. because I am too busy with work and managing the household. Subconsciously, knowing that he's around and that I'll see him during dinners and breakfasts and in between, there is less need to "schedule" together-time than there was before we got married and moved in together. I used to have time to go to pilates, where has that gone? I would sit in a coffeeshop on weekends, read a book or write... There seems to be so little time and yet so much to do these days. So it's time to take a break, step back and re-evaluate the situation and regain a healthy work-life balance. Do I work to live or live to work?

May 1, 2011

30 days of lists - Weekly rituals

I am a creature of habit. I disfunction in situation of disorder and chaos and thrive when life is at its most organize. I'm French-Filipina, but with a defined German obsession for structure, which, considering I joined the "30 days of lists"-challenge, shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. I don't respond too well to change in my daily life. Why fix something that isn't broken? Change is something I keep in my love for travel. That's where I can be more adventurous, more spontaneous, albeit in a structured way - all my trips are rather well planned I would say.

Going back to the list I am supposed to write today... Weekly rituals:
  • Prepare weekly menu
  • Do groceries based on above
  • Sunday lunch at the in-laws
  • Massage on Sunday afternoon
  • Call my parents afterwards
  • Updating household accountancy
  • Watch TV: I'm addicted to one or two series at a time and diligently watch them!
  • Manicure
  • Touch base with best friends
  • Check favorite blogs
This is what I can think of right now. For some reasons, all rituals that came to my mind were on a daily basis... I seem to be more OCD than I thought I was...

April 27, 2011

30 days of lists - Date night ideas

Today's list is about date ideas. One of the downfalls of living together, is that D. and I feel less pressured to go out on datenights. The danger of getting stuck in a daily rut is omnipresent and it takes a conscious effort to break out of it and enjoy each other as a couple.
  • Watch Kaos
  • Watch Cirque du Soleil
  • Have a drink at White Moon Bar
  • Take our puppy for a walk around Highstreet
  • Have coffee and people-watch
  • Brunch at Sala
  • Daytrip to Tagaytay w/ lunch at Antonio's
  • Staycation with self-imposed cellphone&laptop-ban
  • PS3 contest
  • Chill by the pool

April 26, 2011

30 days of lists - On my wishlist

On my wishlist... Wow. That's a long one. Before this challenge, I was already a "list-person" and actually have a little notebook in which I list down all the things I want to achieve in life. I've crossed out several already such as try out yoga and surfing, get married, climb the Eiffel Tower rather than taking the elevator...

But there's a plethora of other items I have yet to attempt/buy/see...

Here's a short selection:

  • Travel to:
GreeceSouth Africa or Kenya for a safari
Australia (to visit my friend C.)
Road trip from East to West Coast of the U.S.
  • Gadgets: Macbook Pro and iPhone 4 (or 5 as soon as gets out)
  • Our first home (doesn't matter if it's an apartment or a house as long as I can paint the walls, change the tiles and furnish it according to the hundreds of tearsheets I've collected!)
  • Our second home by the beach
  • Learn how to apply my make-up correctly (will finally need to check out my friend's vlog at MissBeauteousness)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Cafe - Milan

My last Milan trip ended with the realization that there seems to be an ever-increasing number of fashion designers that feel the urge to expand their brand beyond their core competence. Nowadays one can smell, eat, drink, and even dance to his/her favorite brand. Brands are extended to every aspect of lifestyle imaginable. So it comes to no surprise that, walking around Milan's fashion district, along famed Via Montenapoleone and its surrounding streets, I stumbled upon bars, cafés, restaurants, nightclub, bookstore baring the name of the likes of local fashion icons Dolce&Gabbana, Armani, Cavalli...

Off the beaten path, with fewer tourists stomping the cobblestone streets, in the trendy district of Brera, lies the Marc Jacobs boutique. The only designer concept store I was able to visit during my short stay in Italy. Brand diversification at its finest, it offers everything from ready-to-wear, keychains, iPhone cases, and other trinkets as well as accessories from Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Exhausted from roaming through all the pretty things that the store has to offer, you can relax and savour a cup of expresso at the bar/café located in the rear of the store. The entire concept is designed in true Marc Jacobs fashion, loud and bold.

While the commoner benefits from brand extension, as the once exclusive luxury is now made available to any wallet-size, the risk lies in the loss of exactly that: luxury. Luxury was once defined as something of quality yes, but moreover something that was made accessible to only a chosen few. Now, with a few dollars being able to access a bit of glitz and glamour, what happens to the once elusive, aspirational value of those luxury brands?
It's a balancing act and I'm curious to see which brands will succeed and which will fail. Marc by Marc Jacobs store seems to have found a winning formula. Not pretending to be anything that it's not, the store is approachable and laid-back — far from other pretentious concepts I happen to have caught a glimpse at — differentiating itself from its more glamourous counterpart Marc Jacobs.

Note: By the way, I am guilty as charged. I did succumb to the temptation and did end up buying a "I ♥ MJ" keychain, convincing myself that a) i was in dire need of an overpriced memory stick cleverly hidden within a heart-shaped keychain and b) this particular keychain and I were meant to be as it spelled out my initials and thus was too good to resist.

April 25, 2011

April 24, 2011

Obsession du Jour - Cage lamps

Not quite sure where, how and when I can incorporate those in my yet-to-be-found dreamhome, but I'm quite intrigued by the idea of those cage lamps...

April 23, 2011

30 days of lists - In my Bag

  • Keys with my Marc Jacobs USB keychain: the keychain is in shape of a heart and says I ♥ MJ i.e. I love myself. A mantra every girl should have!
  • Bath&Body Works Sweet Pea Hand Sanitizer spray: a must-have in this world of germs.
  • Macbook: one day in the not-so-far future it'll have the little "Pro" attached to it.
  • Macbook charger: well, because my Macbook needs one.
  • Muji pens in red and blue: outrageously overprice but so purty.
  • Moleskine planner: I went over and beyond to get this. Keeps my life organized.
  • iPhone: my multitasking wondertool.
  • Headphones: whenever I need to tune out the world.
  • VMV Lip Glitter Gloss in Bronzerella: for some quick, instant glam.
  • Emergency Kit: antihistamines, pain killers, lozenges, tampons, nailfile, bandaids... and other things I might need one day!
  • Checkbook: because I have to pay bills.
  • Hugo Boss wallet: a gift from my dad after he felt sorry when he saw my ratty cheap-o walle
  • Business card holder: because no matter the place or time, I'm always at work. At least my cards already reflect my new name.
  • Ray-Ban Wayfarers: today in brown. but on other days in red, blue or yellow.

April 22, 2011

Wisdom #6

via piccsy

Obsession du Jour - Bookshelves

I have three large boxes full of books waiting to be shipped to Manila, not to mention the buttload of reading materials I've been amassing in the past few years here...

I. WANT. my. library. NOW.

Is it obvious that I'm a bookworm?

April 21, 2011

Obsession du Jour - Frederiksberg Villa

I'm absolutely infatuated with this charming villa in Frederiksberg, Denmark. The kitchen and dining room are particularly gorgeous. I don't even know where to begin. To keep in line with my list-making challenge, here is why this interior design project has found its spot in my Obsession world:
  • Blackboard behind stove
  • Clean, crisp and white
  • Pale aqua that gives the place a beach-y feel
  • Glass hanging lamps
  • Modern-retro appliances
  • Louis ghost chairs paired with solid wood dining table

Check out more prettiness on kml design.

April 20, 2011

30 days of lists - Blog goals

Today is a piece of cake! ;-)

Blog goals:

  • Commit to write regularly
  • Move and inspire my readers
  • Write about stuff that matters to me
  • Find my niche
  • Enjoy and have fun with it!

Wisdom #5

April 19, 2011

30 days of lists - Least favorites words/phrases

I had to put in some more time and thoughts into today's list as compared to the ones I've jotted down in a jiffy so far. Least favorites words/phrases... (insert sounds of my brain working)...

I got it! Eureka! My least favorite words are not based on their meaning but on their pronunciation or spelling... Voilà:

  • Three: I'm still French after all and "th" is just impossible to pronounce!
  • Thais/Thighs/Ties: all ze same to me.
  • Salmon: So do you pronounce the "l" or don't you? I don't get it.
  • Wary/Worry: Sounds the same to me!
  • Definitely: I have spelling challenges here.
  • Awkward: here too. Thank God for spellcheck!

April 18, 2011

30 days of lists - Weekend goals

Hmm. It's Monday today, just another manic Monday.... Having to discuss my weekend goals undoubtedly generates a frown on my forehead. A nasty habit, I have been told, I should drop rather sooner than later if I wish to avoid permanent signs of aging. Working in the beauty industry clearly involves the development of a growing obsession with aging or the prevention of such.

But a commitment is a commitment, so here we go. This week is also not as loaded as it usually is, as the Easter Holidays are cutting short my typical toxic 70 hours work-week. My weekend goals therefore are:
  • Only work 2 hours a day
  • Sleep in
  • Read a book on the patio
  • Finally select pictures for wedding album
  • Finish blogposts that have been sitting in the draft folder
  • Bake brownies
  • Play with puppies
  • Make babies
  • Finish my quarterly report (sigh!)

Wisdom #4

April 17, 2011

30 days of lists - Today's Playlist

Today's playlist:
  • Closer to the Edge - 30 seconds to Mars
  • Run - Techy Romantics
  • Blow - Ke$ha
  • Say (à l'infini) - One Republic feat. Sheryfa Luna
  • Fucking Perfect - Pink
  • Sing - My Chemical Romance
  • Kings and Queens - 30 seconds to Mars
  • Animal - Neon Trees
  • Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  • Fireworks - Katy Perry

Obsession du Jour - Lamarthe Clutch

J'adore the Lamarthe pochette/cabas. I have this versatile, soft veal-leather clutch in a stylish petroleum color that goes well with casual chic as well as more dressy outfits. And obviously, since it was a birthday gift from my dad, it holds a special place in my heart.

April 16, 2011

30 days of lists - I'm looking forward to

I'm enjoying the 30 days of lists experiment so far. It has enabled me to take a couple of minutes to reflect on a topic and quickly jot down my thoughts on it. It's redirects my thoughts from store operations issues, business development opportunities and pricing negotiations to more banal yet very eye-opening topics for a brief moment in a day. I'm seriously thinking to ask D. to take on the challenge. He usually laughs at my antics and will most likely label me as weird (oh I know my hubby too well!), but I think it'll be a good exercise for him. Men need to get in touch with their inner self more often.

Today's list is about things I look forward to:
  • our honeymoon in Europe
  • designing our own home (well... finding a home first actually!)
  • being pregnant
  • watching Cirque du Soleil
  • launching VMV in Italy
  • writing on a regular basis
  • replacing my Macbook with the new Macbook Pro
  • Fast & Furious 4 and Kung Fu Panda 2
  • long weekends
  • salary increase

April 15, 2011

Warm whites

In line with my recent nesting behavior and obsession for anything interior design-related, here's a trend I've been looooving: white. Already incorporated in my wardrobe, it also does wonders for home spaces. The interesting part of this is that the use of the color white (or should I say lack of color) is utilized in such a way that it still manages to induce warmth and coziness into the room. After all, who really wants their living room or bedroom to be cool, cold and industrial? Yes fine, it works for kitchens and bathrooms maybe, but your sanctuary should feel comforting, homey and calming. Too bad all I'm doing is collating pegs and tearsheets and have yet to find the home to turn all my ideas into the real thing. Soon, very soon....


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